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Congo’s Finance watchdog questioned over $100m probe

Congo’s Finance watchdog questioned over $100m probe

Victor Batubenga, the head of Democratic Republic of Congo’s public finances watchdog was detained for questioning in what he called a retaliation for investigations by his office into the spendings by senior government officials.

Slyvian Kasongo,The capital Kinshasa’s police chief, confirmed that the Inspector General of Finances, Victor Batubenga and one of his colleagues had been detained for questioning before being released later. He said the arrests were for “matters of common law”, but declined to discuss further.

The public finances watchdog has been probing a $100 million line of credit opened in May by the central bank at the instruction of the interim economy minister to reimburse fuel distributors, according to a report his office issued in July. However, civil society groups have accused his administration of profligate spending. The charges in which he has denied.

The report by the public finances watchdog s auditors in July found that interim Economy Minister Henri Yav had ordered 15% of the $100 million line of credit to be paid into a bank account controlled by the government committee that monitors fuel prices.

It said that money “did not benefit the state” and called on the government to explain how the money was utilized. The interim economy minister is yet to make a comment as to the matter.

The intelligence agency’s order last month said the audit of government spending since January was required “for urgent reasons of state security”, without elaborating.

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